November 19, 2011

Homemade Chicken Broth

Picked up some locally grown whole chickens at Battle Ground Produce to make chicken broth. It's really easy if a little time consuming, but the flavor is so worth it! Here are the directions:

Put 3 whole chickens, with the skin on, and the giblets in a very large stock pot. Fill pot with cold water. Add a couple onions, quartered, 2-3 whole carrots and 2-3 celery stalks. Add 2 tablespoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoon dried thyme and a couple bay leaves. You can add other herbs if you want. I used rosemary and celery seed, a teaspoon of each.

Bring to simmer slowly. Simmer until the meat is done and the legs are loose in the socket. Remove pot from heat and take the chickens out. Let the broth cool a bit, so the fat rises to the top. Skim off the fat. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the veggies. Bring back to boil.

Sanitize the jars.  pour the broth through a juice strainer into each jar leaving 1/2 headspace - you'll probably need two people for this step. Pressure cook according to the directions for your pressure cooker.  Or, if you don't have a pressure cooker, freeze the jars. Makes approx. 20 pints.

When the chicken is cooled, shred the chicken meat. I like to make chicken enchiladas with some of it. The rest I freeze to use later in soups or tacos or soup or chili or whatever you like.

Tip - My coworker, who is an amazing cook, just sent me a tip. Add 1/2 c of white vinegar at the beginning. The vinegar draws calcium from the bones into the broth. Jessica swears you can't taste the vinegar in the end. Since I'd already made this batch of broth, I'll have to try it next time.

Update on tip - I've added vinegar every time since Jessica gave me the tip.  You can't taste it at all.  Not only does it help get the calcium from the bones into the broth, it improves the color too.

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